Wizards vs. Pacers Preview: Meet the hobbled Pacers

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The John Wall-less Wizards head to Indiana to take on the Danny Granger-less Pacers.

Who when and where: The Wizards are taking on the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 7PM EST on Comcast SportsNet.

Why should I care? The Wizards are starting a three game road trip and it would be nice to start it off with a win. Also, A.J. Price makes his return to Indiana. No love lost there.

Are they good? They might be, but it's hard to really know with the Danny Granger expected to miss the next three months. As Mike explained earlier this week, Granger's loss is a huge, huge blow to the Pacers. They still have a solid core, but without Granger, I'm going to lean towards "not quite" if you're asking if they're good.

What are their strengths? The one thing Granger's loss won't affect is the Pacers' defense. They were a top 10 defense last year and are keeping that profile so far this season. The one interesting thing to note is last year, they were forcing teams into more turnovers but also giving up more trips to the free throw line. This year, the trend has reversed. They're not forcing many turnovers, but they're limiting open looks and keeping teams away from the stripe.

What are their weaknesses? They might not be feeling Granger's loss much of the defensive end, but it's painfully clear on offense. Other than David West., there hasn't been much to be excited about. Paul George and George Hill are both playing around the same level as last year, Roy Hibbert's play has dropped off and Gerald Green has struggled to bring the same spark he brought to the Nets last season. In other words, don't expect a shootout tonight.

What might people not know about them? Did you know the Pacers had the second-lowest FG% at the rim last season? They only made 58 percent of their shots at the rim last year. Pretty surprising for a team with Roy Hibbert, David West and Tyler Hansbrough. This year, they're only doing slightly better, making 60.6 percent of their shots at the rim.

So can the Wizards win? Can't believe I would say this at the beginning of the year, but yeah, the Wizards have a shot tonight. I'd still give the edge to the Pacers, especially considering the game is at home, but the Wizards could make this happen.

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